Lying about 10 miles south of Nainaimo, Ladysmith is a very pleasant stop when cruising through the Gulf Islands.
The Ladysmith Community Marina is the first marina on the left as you enter the harbour and is good value with a very clean new shower, toilet and laundry facility. The staff are extremely helpful and friendly. There are a few other commercial marinas further in, but none of them as as convenient as the Community Marina for accessing the historic downtown area.
Anchoring is possible either in the small cove at the NW end of the Dunsmuir Islands, or in Sibell Bay at the SE end of the Islands. Alternatively in calm weather it is also possible to anchor off Transfer Beach on the opposite side of the channel to the Dunsmuir Islands. Burleith Arm looks on the chart as if it should make a good anchorage but is completely full of log booms.
Ladysmith is still an active logging saw mill town and as you enter from seaward you are likely to see lots of small tugs buzzing around manoeuvring log booms into position on the northern shore of the harbour.
The small downtown area is well worth a visit and the Old Town Bakery is unmissable. If you can find no other reason to visit Ladysmith then the bakery in itself is a good enough reason to stop over. They sell the best bread we've ever tasted in North America and their cakes and buns are exceptional. North Americans rave about the Cinnamon Buns they sell, but as Brits we enjoyed their home baked scones and sausage rolls which just melted in your mouth!!
There are a number of restaurants in the downtown area, of which the Fox and Hounds appears to be the most popular amongst the locals. Modelled on a traditional English pub it serves a very respectable pint of London Pride, together with old pub favourites such as bangers and mash, steak and stilton pie and sticky toffee pudding, all of which were a lot better quality and more tasty than those you would find in the average English pub!